Farmers to protest in Hisar today, admin steps up security
Farmers in Haryana’s Hisar will on Monday protest registration of First Information Report (FIR) against more than 300 farmers for clashing with the police earlier this month. The protest comes at a time when the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) -- an umbrella body of more than 40 farm organisations leading protests against the three contentious central agricultural laws -- has given a call to intensify the movement from May 26, when it completes six months.
In view of Monday's protest, the district administration has stepped up security in Hisar, especially fortifying the police commissionerate which, the farmers, declared, they would “gherao” to protest against the police’s decision to book 350 unidentified farmers for the May 16 clash, as well as to demand action against the police personnel who allegedly lathi-charged them.
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Violence broke out on May 16 after a section of farmers, protesting against the farm laws, tried to march towards a venue where Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar was to inaugurate a Covid-19 hospital. The police, which was accused of “high-handedness” as it lobbed tear gas shells and used force to disperse the agitators, in turn accused the protesters of pelting stones at police personnel.
While Khattar was able to inaugurate the hospital, the farmers, angered by police action, blocked several key highways in Haryana, and also gheraoed the residence of Hisar’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) against the arrest of some protesting farmers. They dispersed after those arrested were released.
Haryana, and its neighbouring state of Punjab, have emerged as the epicentre of the ongoing protests against the three farm laws. Farmers, most of them belonging to the two northern states, have been camping at three borders in Delhi, demanding a complete repeal of the laws. The legislations were passed in September last year, triggering a face-off between the farmers and the central government. 11 rounds of talks have failed to break the deadlock; the two sides last sat across the table on January 22.
Recently, the SKM wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking a resumption of the dialogue.
(With agency inputs)